The Environmental Impact Statement for the Narrabri Gas Project has been submitted, Santos announced last week.
The proposed Narrabri Gas Project, located in North-West NSW, could supply up to 50 per cent of the state’s gas needs.
Santos will make the gas available to NSW and the east coast domestic market via a pipeline linking into the existing Moomba to Sydney Pipeline.
The pipeline will be constructed by APA Group and will be subject to a separate approval.
Managing director and CEO Kevin Gallagher said the company had spent time producing a comprehensive EIS so the local Narrabri community and stakeholders could be confident the environment and water would be protected as the project is developed.
“The EIS has concluded the project can proceed safely with minimal and manageable risk to the environment,” Mr Gallagher said.
“The Narrabri Gas Project has the potential to play a significant role in the domestic energy space.
“Natural gas has a vital role to play in delivering energy security, while having the additional benefit of being 50 per cent cleaner than coal resulting in a significant reduction in carbon emissions.
“In NSW alone, more than one million homes and 33,000 businesses rely on natural gas as a source of energy.”
If approved, the project could create about 1300 jobs during the initial construction phase and around 200 ongoing jobs, many of which will be locally based.
It will also generate an estimated $1.2 million in state royalties over its working life.
The Lock the Gate Alliance has vowed to “fight tooth and claw” with farmers and traditional owners against the project.
The group claims the release of the EIS will trigger a showdown with the farming region.
“It is only a matter of time until Santos’ Narrabri Gas Project contaminates our precious groundwater again.
“A CSG field in the Pilliga would be the beginning of the end of the health and productivity of our food producing region,” farmer Sally Hunter said in a Lock the Gate statement.
Santos said a Groundwater Impact Assessment (GIA) was developed for the EIS to determine what impact the project would have on local water.
The GIA found the project would have a negligible impact on existing water users.
Santos’ operations will be located on about 1000 hectares in and around the Pilliga near Narrabri.